Course Outline

DES309 Design Capstone

Course Coordinator:Leah Barclay ( School:School of Business and Creative Industries

2023Semester 2

UniSC Sunshine Coast

UniSC Moreton Bay

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.


Online You can do this course without coming onto campus.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


This course will help transition you from design student to design professional. You will create and exhibit a major capstone project for the annual USC Design Exhibition. This project and design portfolio will showcase your creative work, strengths and skills. As a designer, it is important to possess strong communication and business skills to navigate the complexities of the contemporary art and design industry. This course places emphasis on developing an awareness of professional and industry issues, networks and practices, as well as entrepreneurial and personal development strategies.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Interactive online learning activities. 1.5hrs Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Scheduled face to face workshops. 2hrs Week 1 10 times
Seminar – Scheduled face to face seminar. 1hr Week 5 Once Only
Learning materials – Interactive online learning activities. 1.5hrs Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Scheduled online workshops (Recorded). 2hrs Week 1 10 times
Seminar – Scheduled online seminar (Recorded). 1hr Week 5 Once Only

Course Topics

Design exhibitions 

Art and design curation 

Industry engagement 

Industry partnerships 

Portfolio development 

Design research

Grants and community partnerships 

Capstone projects 

Intellectual property 

Professional pathways in design 

What level is this course?

300 Level (Graduate)

Demonstrating coherence and breadth or depth of knowledge and skills. Independent application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Meeting professional requirements and AQF descriptors for the degree. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory or developing knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally undertaken in the third or fourth full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Produce a professional portfolio and CV for an industry design project or organisation Engaged
2 Interpret and reflect on legal, ethical and professional practice frameworks that are relevant to a specific design industry Ethical
3 Demonstrate graduate level design thinking and advanced communication skills and practices. Empowered
4 Demonstrate critical and creative thinking and skills in synthesising and transforming research and ideas into an original and convincing outcome. Creative and critical thinker
5 Demonstrate interdisciplinary knowledge and skills to position design practice in diverse environments, challenges and contexts Creative and critical thinker
6 Develop culturally sensitive design skills that respond to place, embrace sustainability, and acknowledge Indigenous protocols and perspectives Ethical
7 Develop advanced project management skills to work collaboratively to produce a professional design exhibition

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Completed 192 units


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

In order to produce a professional standard portfolio, students must have developed a substantial body of creative work throughout their design degree. They must also have acquired the necessary software skills to independently produce a book, website or show reel, depending on their discipline.

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

In week 3, students will prepare and present their draft work in a formal group critique session where they will receive formative peer and tutor feedback. Throughout the semester, general feedback and/or one-on-one consultations will be offered on a weekly basis in class.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Artefact - Creative, and Written Piece Individual 20%
Creative branding portfolio and 250 words
Week 4 Online Submission
All 2 Artefact - Creative, and Oral Individual 30%
10 minute oral presentation or interview, 2 page CV and 500 word report
Week 9 In Class
All 3 Artefact - Creative Individual 50%
Capstone project, professional design portfolio and 500 word reflection.
Week 13 In Class
All - Assessment Task 1:Personal Branding and Rationale
The goal of this task is for you to explore and develop your personal brand and identity as a designer.
Product: Artefact - Creative, and Written Piece
You will produce a professional identity that can be applied across a range of media specific to your design discipline. This task prepares you for starting your own business or applying for jobs in the design industry. The media and artefacts you include in your branding portfolio can be negotiated with your tutor. The final submission will include a cohesive portfolio that reflects your ethics and values as a designer.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Develop an original visual identity that reflects on your ethics and values as a designer
2 3
Reflect on legal, ethical and intellectual property rights involved with creative branding
Communication and originality in final design outcomes
3 4
All - Assessment Task 2:Transitioning to Industry
This task will help you prepare for your transition from university to a professional design career. You will research and evaluate a particular segment of the design industry that you are interested in and produce a digital resume (CV) specifically catering to that area/company that will form the basis for a simulated interview, portfolio presentation, or design pitch.
Product: Artefact - Creative, and Oral
You will research a specific project, studio, agency,  grant or client of your choice that aligns with your discipline and career interests. This will form the basis of your simulated interview, presentation or design pitch. You will prepare a written (500 word) report explaining the reasons for your choice along with findings of your research, including philosophy and culture, position in the industry and any other information pertinent to your oral presentation or interview. You are encouraged to include relevant images and any other supporting materials. You will prepare a 2-page digital resume showcasing your skills, experience, qualifications and examples of your work in an appropriate format to your discipline. You will submit this in preparation for your oral presentation. During the oral presentation you will present your work in an interview situation and/or design pitch with an industry guest. You will receive feedback at the end of the session and will be assessed on your performance and capacity to communicate. Further information specific to each discipline is available on Canvas.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Depth of knowledge of your chosen studio, project, company or client
1 2
Quality of content and final work included in CV and interview
1 3
Professional presentation and communication
3 4
Ability to meet the requirements set in the project brief in a professional manner
All - Assessment Task 3:Capstone Design Project and Professional Portfolio
You will produce an original design project for the graduate exhibition in the USC Art Gallery supported by an industry standard professional design portfolio. Your capstone project will showcase and promotes your creative work, skills and strengths specific to your design discipline
Product: Artefact - Creative
You will research, design and deliver an original creative project for the graduate design exhibition in the USC Art Gallery. This will be supported by an original portfolio that showcases your creative work produced throughout your degree. An important part of the development and production of your capstone project is your contribution to the final design exhibition. Your capstone project will be part of a group design exhibition open to invited industry professionals and the local community. A successful exhibition is dependent on individual efforts, combined with effective and focussed teamwork. You will participate in the development of the exhibition and will be required to assist with the installation, set-up and pull-down of the show, along with other associated activities. Exhibition dates, deadlines, roster details and other relevant information is available on Canvas. Further requirements and task outlines for your discipline is also available on Canvas.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Produce an original capstone project and design portfolio
Demonstrate graduate level design thinking, effective teamwork and advanced communication skills in the development of the exhibition and capstone project
Apply critical and creative thinking in the development and delivery of an original capstone project and portfolio
Effective approaches to collaboration and contributions to the final exhibition
4 5 6 7

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

There are no required/recommended resources for this course.

Specific requirements


How are risks managed in this course?

Risk assessments have been performed for all studio and laboratory classes and a low level of health and safety risk exists. Some risk concerns may include equipment, instruments, and tools; as well as manual handling items within the laboratory. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


UniSC is committed to a culture of respect and providing a safe and supportive environment for all members of our community. For immediate assistance on campus contact SafeUniSC by phone: 07 5430 1168 or using the SafeZone app. For general enquires contact the SafeUniSC team by phone 07 5456 3864 or email

The SafeUniSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

Wellbeing Services

Student Wellbeing provide free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological matters, to foster positive mental health and wellbeing for your academic success.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Conduct
  • Students with a Disability

For more information, visit

Student Charter

UniSC is committed to excellence in teaching, research and engagement in an environment that is inclusive, inspiring, safe and respectful. The Student Charter sets out what students can expect from the University, and what in turn is expected of students, to achieve these outcomes.

General Enquiries

  • In person:
    • UniSC Sunshine Coast - Student Central, Ground Floor, Building C, 90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
    • UniSC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
    • UniSC SouthBank - Student Central, Building A4 (SW1), 52 Merivale Street, South Brisbane
    • UniSC Gympie - Student Central, 71 Cartwright Road, Gympie
    • UniSC Fraser Coast - Student Central, Student Central, Building A, 161 Old Maryborough Rd, Hervey Bay
    • UniSC Caboolture - Student Central, Level 1 Building J, Cnr Manley and Tallon Street, Caboolture
  • Tel:+61 7 5430 2890